London Office

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Managing Partner: Giles Bark-Jones
Number of partners: 1
Number of lawyers: 30
Languages: English, Armenian, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu

Firm Overview:
Bark&co is one of the UK’s most progressive and successful fraud and business crime firms. It handles civil and criminal fraud, business and tax regulation, tax investigations, white-collar crime, bribery and corruption, and serious crime cases for high-net worth individuals, as well as national and international companies. The firm has a flexible approach, tailoring its advice to meet each client’s individual needs. Its rigorous commitment to quality and discretion is widely recognised and generates significant referrals from satisfied clients. We also appreciate the importance of working with specialists to create robust public relations and media management plans.

Main Areas of Practice:
Financial Crime:
Bark&co acts for high net worth clients and businesses in a wide range of white-collar crime and fraud cases, including prosecutions and investigations brought by the SFO, the FCA, HMRC, the Special Compliance Office of the Inland Revenue, the CPS, SOCA and other prosecuting bodies. A leader in heavyweight criminal fraud work of all kinds, Bark&co’s advice is increasingly also sought in major civil fraud cases. Acknowledged as a leader in the field, the firm has helped clients in connection with many of the highest profile prosecutions brought by the SFO and other agencies. Expertise includes moneylaundering and carousel fraud, mortgage fraud, investment fraud, corruption, pension fund fraud, telecoms fraud, theft, fraudulent trading by company directors and internet fraud. Dedicated teams also assist in relation to confiscation and post- and pre-charge restraint proceedings.

The firm’s track record includes acting for individuals in many of the largest and most important frauds of recent years such as the Cheney Pension fraud (the largest theft from a pension fund since Maxwell), the massively high profile Asil Nadir case (SFO prosecution involving allegations of theft from the Polly Peck International), the US$1 billion BAE Systems corruption claims, R v Adoboli (US$2.3bn trading loss fraud at UBS), and the Marache case (the highest profile international law firm fraud of recent years), as well as acting for the former editor of the News of the World in the ‘phone hacking’ scandal. Recent highlights also include acting for key individuals in the high profile SFO investigations into alleged corruption at Rolls Royce, as well as in R v F & Others described by prosecution counsel as the ‘biggest case ever’ involving allegations of carbon trading fraud.

The experienced tax team at Bark&co is equipped to deal with a wide range of cases, including complex appeals to the VAT and Duties Tribunals, and to the Courts including through Judicial Review proceedings, and responding quickly to HMRC interventions, seizures and searches. It also represents clients in tax investigations and enquiries, handling negotiations with HMRC on their behalf. In addition to civil tax litigation and investigations, the leading criminal team regularly acts in high profile and very high value cases involving tax evasion, for example in connection with international alcohol and tobacco activities, and also allegations of VAT/ MTIC fraud.

Much of Bark&co’s work in this area is highly confidential, but recent highlights include assisting a number of clients in National Crime Agency and SKAT (Danish tax authority) investigations into a £1.5 billion fraud against the tax authorities in a number of countries, successfully representing a former mobile phone trader in its appeal in the First Tier Tax Tribunal against HMRC VAT assessments for over £1m; representing a client in an appeal against a £60m+ conviction for alcohol tax evasion; representing a client in a highly complex matter involving a number of payroll companies that allegedly failed to pay tax on behalf of the companies for which they acted; acting in relation to a £50m tobacco-related tax evasion and an £800m international tax fraud involving a number of global jurisdictions, and assisting a client in a £100m case arising out of Operation Amazon, a multijurisdictional matter described by KPMG and the Daily Telegraph as ‘one of the biggest direct tax frauds in UK history’.

General Crime:
Bark&co regularly acts for clients in large, high-profile criminal cases, following arrests for murder, money laundering, drugs importation and people-smuggling. The firm focuses on high-end work, much of it with an international dimension. Bark&co also advises individuals and their companies who are facing investigations or criminal proceedings as a result of health and safety and environmental breaches. The specialist team carefully guides clients through all stages of criminal proceedings from pre-charge interviews through to trial and, where appropriate, appeal.

Bark&co has an impressive track record of representing clients in complex criminal matters. These include representing parties accused in the News of the World ‘phone hacking’ and subsequent computer hacking investigations, the ‘Clerkenwell crime syndicate’ case, and the Operation Yewtree sexual offenses investigation. Further highlights have included acting for a professional footballer who is alleged to have taken part in the attempted murder of a man after a night out; representing a high ranking Metropolitan Police Officer in relation to serious criminal allegations, as well as assisting clients in international drugs supply, murder, manslaughter, firearms and terrorism matters. Although the firm is well known for discretion, Bark&co’s services are also sought after in cutting-edge matters that are in the public eye such as representing those accused of war crimes.